• A Voyage For Madmen
  • A Voyage For Madmen
  • A Voyage For Madmen
  • A Voyage For Madmen
  • A Voyage For Madmen
  • A Voyage For Madmen

A Voyage For Madmen

Non-Fiction, Travel, Travel Writing
Paperback Published on: 05/05/2011
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Bookseller Reviews

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A Voyage For Madmen
Man's Capacity for Wonder
A brilliant and interesting read. This book is all about adventure and the motivation of man to overcome nature; with the struggles they endure and the tol... READ MORE
Nathaniel Gardner-Blatch
A Voyage For Madmen
Simply. Astonishing.
Hiring a pedalow for an hour on holiday is about as much as I knew or cared about anything remotely nautical. Then a colleague recommended this book. No wo... READ MORE
Myles Gray
A Voyage For Madmen
World Tour de Force
With its real-life characters ranging from the driven Robin Knox-Johnston to the fragile Donald Crowhurst, Nicholls explores the nine men and their often e... READ MORE
Richard Hayden in Rye


Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for July 2018

Specially republished to mark the 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe Race, A Voyage for Madmen is a fast-paced, utterly gripping account of what drives people to extraordinary endeavour in the face of life-threatening danger.

'Told with verve and riddled with drama, you can smell the salty air and feel the spray on every page' - The Sunday Times

It lay like a gauntlet thrown down; to sail around the world alone and non-stop. No one had ever done it, no one knew if it could be done.

In 1968, nine men - six Englishmen, two Frenchmen and an Italian - set out to try, a race born of coincidence of their timing. One didn't even know how to sail. They had more in common with Captain Cook or Ferdinand Magellan than with the high-tech, extreme sailors of today, a mere forty years later. From the haunted, Nemo-esque Bernard Moitessier to the wildly complex Donald Crowhurst, Peter Nicholls juggles his cast of eccentrics with aplomb, fully embracing their absurdity and wild courage.

Often armed with little more than an Opinel knife, rudimentary radio and navigation equipment, and a store of the most basic canned supplies across 1968 nine very different men slipped out to sea to race each other, alone, around the globe. It was not the sea or the weather that determined the nature of their voyages but the men they were, and they were as different from one another as Scott from Amundsen.

Only one of the nine crossed the finishing line after ten months at sea. The rest encountered despair, sublimity, madness and even death.

Republished as 18 skippers recreate the historic race (beginning on 1st July 2018), this is an extraordinary tale of courage and endurance. Peppered with fascinating details about life at sea, it’s a book to be devoured breathlessly in one sitting. Peter Nichol's book is an incredible true story of the inaugural 1968 Golden Globe sailing race, truly A Voyage for Madmen.

  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781846684432
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Weight: 320g
  • Dimensions: 194 x 126 x 28 mm

Customer Reviews

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A Voyage For Madmen
We all know what happened.
Though we all know the outcome, that's not the benefit of this account. We are given a real insight into the characters involved and the challenges they f... READ MORE
Vera Grant
A Voyage For Madmen
The perfect summer read!
The gripping story of an incredible race and the nine men whose lives it transformed. It’s a love-letter to the sea, a testament to endurance and a study o... READ MORE
Bea Carvalho
A Voyage For Madmen
I know almost nothing about sailing but I feel like I've been living at sea these past few weeks reading this book. I am surprised at how much I love it. I... READ MORE
C Bailey